What Makes An Add-on Perfect - A Community Consensus

Discussion in 'TSW General Discussion' started by shredder, Dec 12, 2023.

  1. shredder

    shredder Member

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    In your eyes, what are the most important things to get right, or to include, on a dlc add-on?

    I personally prefer detail and accuracy, over length and sheer scale. I’d rather see a GWE route with the branches than without. The Cathcart Circle is a decent example of this, whilst drawing a line and not going massive (trying to include all the suburban lines). Including branches is a sure fire way to increase replay-ability IMHO.

    Another ‘must’ for me is the inclusion of the main depot/s on the route, which is something the Cross City route missed out, despite being fairly well modelled and represented behind the ‘invisible walls’. I get that not all drivers will start the shift in a depot, but as we’re given 24hr timetables it makes sense to bookend the day with ECS moves and cold starts.

    Some ‘needs’ are already addressed, and it’s worth commending them so this thread doesn’t begin unfavourably.. the two most important are having a substantial timetable (as realistic as possible) which is one of the better selling points of the game itself, and decent layering possibilities (where possible) - The ECML and BPO routes setting a benchmark for the future.

    I’ll start a list here:

    1. if the route could have branches, try to include them (at least more of them than not)
    Good Example: BPO
    Bad Example: GWE

    2. Where practical, include a depot or maintenance facility (not just sidings) for the start and end of timetable services to use.
    Good Example: London Commuter
    Bad Example: BCC

    3. [FAWX] Variety of services and rolling stock, as well as having more than one type of service (E.g. intercity or express, regional or stopper, freight or yard work).
    Good Example: MML
    Bad Example: Glossop

    4. [Dinosbacsi] end to end runs (where possible) - especially on a commuter line, or from a terminus, and the inclusion of branches or obvious add-ons - if the route could include them.
    Good Example: Cathcart Circle, BCC, Peninsula Corridor
    Bad Example: GWE, SEHS

    5. [OldVern] An operational focus outside of the usual passenger shuttling. Freight work, ECS, rescue operations, maintenance.. - the inclusion of ‘operational’ quarries, coalfields, intermodal depots and so on, where possible. Immersion is key.
    Good Example: TVL
    Bad Example: any commuter route

    6. [OldVern] Continued support for routes, after initial release, to keep it current or to increase replay-ability - core feature updates, patches addressing bugs, upgrades to scenery and layering with future stock.
    Good Example: MML, Peak Forest, SEHS, WSR
    Bad Example: Edinburgh to Glasgow

    7. [simontreanor81] Nothing missing, in a glaringly obvious way, with stock, ai or layering - it’s important to do a major station justice if it’s included in a route and ‘dead’, or is considerably lacking stock variety compared to its real world counterpart.
    Good Example: SEHS, ECML, London Commuter
    Bad Example: Cross City, Glossop, Cathcart Circle, Edinburgh to Glasgow

    8. [CK95] Consistency.. which should be obvious really - A benchmark of quality of all assets, scenery, sounds, gameplay, timetables, scenarios and everything in between, across all routes and dlc from various developers (which may not be possible with ‘older’ routes, but is certainly something that should be practiced with greater care moving forward - with the disparity between some developers growing)

    9.
    10.


    So.. what ‘needs’ do you think are necessary for future add-ons?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
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  2. Fawx

    Fawx Well-Known Member

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    1. Variety of Services.
    2. Quality of Scenery.
    3.Mix of Passenger/Freight.
    4. Variety of Rolling Stock.

    These are the key things for me. It's why I always go back to SEHS, and even MML as it has a triangle shape rather than just a line.
    Just doing A-B, whether passenger or freight gets old. I want express, commuter, freight, even switching/yard work.

    SEHS is by far the best route in the game because it ticks all these boxes. Same with Dresden for German Content. On the flip side one of the routes I dislike the most is Glossop, it has no variety of any kind.
     
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  3. pessitheghost

    pessitheghost Well-Known Member

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    1. Inclusion of Branches and Loops on the route
    2. Variety of services
    3. Route Length (depending on the type of route)
    4. Variety of rolling stock
     
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  4. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

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    For me it is variety, good scenery and complete end-to-end runs.

    SEHS has very good variety and good scenery, but sadly not much end-to-end running. Despite that, I do enjoy that route very much, especially with the addition of the RHTT and the 37/7 providing more life to the route.

    Peninsula Corridor has no branches, but it's not a problem, because the whole route is like that in real life as well. Rolling stock is prototypical, offers what used to be there in real life as well, you can do end-to-end runs and despite the A to B nature of the route, there is some variety by having express and stopper runs, also some freight and MOW operations. The only problem is the very weak scenery, if they improved upon it, it would be a perfect route.

    I also like Cathcart Circle Line, because it looks pretty good and it does offer proper end-to-end runs to various branches, but sadly it is only a single EMU and the terminal is entirely empty. With more AI running around, it would be a perfect route.

    I do agree that Great Western Express could have used more branches, but to be honest I would rather see it go to Oxford, like the original Train Simulator route did. And of course the older First Great Western liveries are really missing, shame they didn't make it into the game officially. Otherwise the starter rolling stock variety is good, also the scenery is okay, though a bit dated when compared to more recent routes.

    L.I.R.R. could also be great, as the potential for variety is there with all the branches and terminals. But timetable is empty and it is very missing the diesels with the bi-level cabs as well. Scenery is also quite weak, but that's the least of the issues with the route. Give it a proper busy timetable and it would be a lovely route, even if not perfect.

    For freight I do like routes where somewhat end-to-end runs can be done to and from actual industries. Like the mines with coal loading on Sand Patch Grade and Clinchfield Railroad. Cane Creek is also good in this regard - while the route itself is very slow and boring, it looks pretty nice and you can do end-to-end runs to the quaries, which is satisfying. Sherman Hill also has some local freight with sidings, which was nice, bad sadly that route looks quite bad and the quary has been totally neglected.
     
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  5. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    1. Good length and or possible network.
    2. Accuracy (to a point).
    3. An interesting and noisy train to drive on it (sorry, Azuma fans).
    4. A scenic or operational focus. So I would take West Highland or Knottingley, the latter being flat as a pancake around the coal and power fields, but by god who could resist a 56 or 60 pounding through Sudforth Lane.
    5. Layer in existing rolling stock for more variety and interest.
    6. Reasonably bug free on release.
    7. Continue to support with further sub-DLC or new layers to sustain interest.
     
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  6. jack#9468

    jack#9468 Well-Known Member

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    SEHS is currently the best route.

    There are high speed and commuter services, stopping patterns vary. There are plenty of ECS and freight moves as well. The RHTT, ROG and Class 700 add more to that variety, and there's of course the various railtours.

    No day on SEHS is the same, there's always something going on. Extending to Dartford and Ashford helped.

    The only other route I can think of that meets anywhere near SEHS is BPO, all Rush hour routes, and most German routes (especially with all the layers).
     
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  7. simontreanor81

    simontreanor81 Well-Known Member

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    1. Nothing missing. That is to say, not having an ordinarily very busy station, or stations that is completely dead, not lacking in a type of service that is part of the route (e.g. a route that has ICE services IRL not having them) or not stopping short of somewhere that should naturally be included.
    2. A rich and varied timetable. This is about both the choice of route and how its represented
    3. Related to the above - replayability, with varied services, branches, industry, depots
    4. Regular improvements, as with SEHS. Adding new technology and particularly new layers when they become available.
    5. Obviously high quality scenery. That doesn't mean it has to be on Great Railway Journeys, even an industrial route can be well-rendered
     
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  8. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Consistency. A lot of great features exist in TSW, rarely do you find them all within 1 DLC.

    Consistency. A lot of great effort goes into train development, but not across all rolling stock. Great sounds to fake sounds etc.

    Consistency. A lot of great effort goes into the scenery & attention to detail of routes, but there are stark contrasts which exist within TSW.

    Consistency. Some routes have lots of focus put into timetables & scenarios, with varying gameplay even though a route may be restricted by what it does IRL. Unfortunately there are DLC’s which exist and its gives the impression that they just didn’t care when it came to doing a timetable or making use of possible stock.

    There is so much greatness to be found in TSW, however it’s overshadowed by everything that comes out full of bugs which either take months & years to be fixed, or just never are. QA is still in the toilet, routes are getting stuck back in the pattern of being very short again, the same rolling stock keeps being reused. There has also been a notable drop in the quality & accuracy of sounds. Some content just straight up feels like the team behind it really did not want to do it.

    Aside from all that, what I like most in a DLC, is the option to have commuter & intercity/express services. You get a couple of playstyles, different ways to explore a route & no matter which you opt for, the other will complement in way of giving you a backdrop, putting your experience into perspective.

    I’d like to see more focus on loco DLC’s, and rather than gameplay & livery packs focusing on the same handful of rolling stock, I’d like to see those packs utilise more & get put to use on older routes.
     
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  9. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Of course limited by real-world geography, but there’s definitely a criteria for what ‘area’ would make a good, or interesting, route.

    The MML is my local route, so the recent update has been a blessing. It’s intercity, regional, and at a push freight/yard work - more so with the depots and carriage sidings.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
  10. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Cathcart also includes the Shields Depot right? Another bonus for it. I suppose it matches Piccadilly on the Glossop route for ‘bloated station syndrome’ - where ai overcompensates for the lack of layering by adding more of the same stock!
     
  11. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Many interesting points here..

    1. ‘possible network’ is intriguing - in the case of, say.. C2C, that would be pretty easy to achieve. With the Riviera Line it would make sense (Exmouth to Paignton isn’t crazy), but where do we draw the line, what possible network is a push too far, do you think?
    2. Agreed. It’s a simulation after all.
    3. Throw in a 37 instead of a 66.
    4. A great notion, as I’d like to see a freight oriented WCML route (wishful thinking) that brings AC locos and yard work, cold-starts, maintenance facilities and running rakes of goods up and down, dodging the expresses and running on rarely used track.
    5. Something hopefully recent routes are setting a trend for. ECML, BPO.. etc.
    6. A period of community testing while the route is still in active development. A way for the developers to engage better with the players. Yes please.
    7. Yep. Keeping the route ‘open’ and offering subsequent upgrades (in anticipation for new core features) but also in terms of gameplay - even as extensions (which the teaser for the Peak Forrest last night seemed to suggest).
     
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  12. shredder

    shredder Member

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    I bought the SEHS extended recently and was hoping to save it for a rainy day. After that write up, I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold out!
     
  13. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I’d recommend it for sure, nothing else in the game will let you play the way it does.

    Take a 700 from Dartford to Rainham, then a 375 service up to Faversham, then a 395 down to St Pancakes and finish up with run over to Ashford.

    Easy ways to lose a few hours on that route, I think my favourite services though are thrashing the 465’s all the way up to Faversham.

    In terms of UK gameplay, it’s very hard to beat SEHS/BML/BPO, everyone should experience them.
     
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  14. shredder

    shredder Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with your first point here. Of all the ‘big’ or ‘busy’ stations in the game I think only Victoria has been accurate. New Street, Piccadilly, Glasgow Central, Edinburgh.. all a shadow of what they could be.. although I will stand corrected. Is it a case of careful selection on the developers point (not picking a new region, with no layering, and one stock type), or more down to the developer committing to expanding the route with future dlcs (similar to how SEHS was added to and EMT HST’s appearing in St. Pancras Int’l)?
     
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  15. a.paice

    a.paice Well-Known Member

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    I echo what a lot of people have said.

    A network style route with more than one choice of route to take and a variety of services which use all parts of said network.

    But the most important for me is decent layers and Ai. A one EMU route is no good, even with the odd railtour scattered in.

    One bonus for me would be to make it historic. It doesn't have to be that far back in history but in almost all cases the operations are more interesting, the routes are busier, the traction is much more engaging to drive and it puts us somewhere that may be lost to time.
    If I want class 700 action I can go to almost any train station in London and see it for myself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
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  16. shredder

    shredder Member

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    CONSISTENCY. Hit the nail on the head. From reading these forums for just a few weeks I’m fairly well aware of which developers and which routes to avoid, which looking to the immediate future UK releases does not bode well!

    As for loco dlc’s, I hope the Skyhook (or is it Simtrack) Centro reskin is truly the start of something much bigger and better. The roadmap stream last night seemed to allude to more ‘exciting’ packs in the future, but then again that could just be marketing talk.. hopefully not, anyway, as I’d also love to see loco/MU/EMU/RS packs that could layer into multiple existing routes.. we can dream.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
  17. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what it appears we are not getting with the Goblin line. The opportunity to provide an extensive and interesting network with various trains and services to try will instead be a one handled EMU on an A to B route with repeating service pattern.
     
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  18. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Sounds as if the layering is maxed out on SEHS.. is there anything glaringly missing from it?

    BML is on my ‘rainy day’ list too :cool:

    How do you rank the ECML, it seems pretty close with most layering possibilities included. What would you say it needed to be elevated to SEHS levels?
     
  19. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Forgive my freshness, but have the developers ever consulted the community by means of a vote or poll to what dlc - route or expansion pack, they would most like?

    Surely engaging with the customers and building something they universally (sort of) ask for is a no brainer - especially in the context of not wanting the handful of new UK routes to be a wasted opportunity?
     
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  20. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    I think barring a couple of things that won’t happen (Eurostars), it’s pretty much full up now, there is room for more freight locos (as with every route) and ideally a new freight TOC on the line, but other than that it’s quite full.

    Due to the section of the ECML we have, there’s not much room at all for it to compete with SEHS gameplay, it is dominated by the 801’s, there is room for the IC225’s, but these wouldn’t add anything new in terms of gameplay.

    DTG would need to revamp the route with an extension to one of the branch off’s to add new gameplay. There’s room for substitutions in rolling stock across the services but nothing significant.
     
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  21. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Exactly my point. They seem to think they know what we want. Presumably they do have some sort of focus group they run these ideas by, but if they consist largely of docile, compliant members without the stones to stand up and say something isn't a good idea or needs more flesh on its bones we end up where we are.

    Goblin has been mentioned in Suggestions a few times but usually as an annexe to the NLL proper.
     
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  22. CK95

    CK95 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I think DTG are just following the biggest cash pile now, their content is really getting stale with them releasing the same sort of thing over & over.

    Third parties seem to be the ones taking the initiative with TSW 4.

    JT finally delivered on some BR content (along with some other things DTG decline to do) & even beat DTG to the punch with one of TSW 4’s flashy features.

    Rivet are finally delivering new ToC’s for the 66.

    Skyhook is taking an interest in modern UK freight.

    Simtrack are taking up BR Green diesels to compliment steam, aswell as finally giving us another 1st Gen DMU.

    DTG meanwhile are still ‘AC Modern Commuter’ with routes that don’t offer much gameplay variation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
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  23. a.paice

    a.paice Well-Known Member

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    To be honest from DTG's point of view I don't think they need to. They have all the data they need from the purchase and play time statistics.

    Going by what a tiny segment of the player base on the forum wants would not be a shrewd business decision.

    Maybe a good compromise would be for DTG to select a few routes that would be feasible for them to make and let the community vote through a pop-up on the TSW homescreen as to which they would like most?
     
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  24. Fawx

    Fawx Well-Known Member

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    I think the best route would be SEHS service variety, busy timetable and route length/variety combined with BPOs scenery quality and detailing.

    That would be a perfect route. Set in any UK era as long as it ticked those boxes.
     
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  25. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Exactly.

    By no means should the community control all future dlc decisions, but allowing us to vote on something, where possible, is surely a win win for all parties - The community get a choice and an opportunity to control a developer decision, and the developers earn respect (you’d hope) and tick the ‘engaged with the community’ box.

    An example where this could work:

    a new London Underground route is being planned. Players get to vote on which line they’d like, but the options are ‘filtered’ by the developer (for the sake of development time). One vote per player, and a period of up to a month to vote. Players can alter their vote up to the deadline. 2, 3 or 4 options to vote for e.g. Victoria, Northern, Jubilee or Metropolitan.
     
  26. shredder

    shredder Member

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    With some kind of triangle or cross-shaped route :cool:
     
  27. shredder

    shredder Member

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    An extension South seems like the only feasible extension really. Going North-West, North or North-East out of Doncaster would be one step forward, two steps back. Big empty stations lacking in layers that would compromise the overall high layering level.

    All the stock that runs to King’s Cross, except for GC’s stuff, are currently all available..
     
  28. spikeyorks

    spikeyorks Well-Known Member

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    If we are concentrating on routes then I would love developers to give a bit more thought to Scenario Creation.
    At the moment routes release with very few paths, and with very few 'interesting' start and end points.
    Yet they model miles and miles of track, points, signals etc that are unavailable to the scenario creator and, subsequently any players.
    I know that the Editor, once cooking and the ability to use Community Liveries is added, will change this but how long will we be waiting for that?
    So just a few more paths and a few more start and finish points, in any route release, (even BPO falls down on this) would get my thumbs up.
     
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  29. locobilly

    locobilly Well-Known Member

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    To layer every possible service onto the route, obviously this is only possible if the rolling stock is already in the game, so priority should go to routes where that is possible.
    For me the ECML is let down a bit by the lack of Grand Central Adelante's, and that would make a perfect dlc (along with Lumo and Hull Trains being added). Also this route badly needs extending to somewhere of significance.
    Also scenery along the route of course.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
  30. pessitheghost

    pessitheghost Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, the best route would be sehs/BML styled timetable, with a bit of a lengthy route (90 + miles) and scenery and detail like BPO would be the best route as I prefer longer routes personally.
     
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  31. matt#4801

    matt#4801 Well-Known Member

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    I think most of the things I would have said have been covered however there is one I don't think I have seen. That would be a new experience, such as BPO bringing local branch line in the 80s experience and ECML bringing a proper intercity driving experience to the game. Seeing as I mentioned these two routes, they are the two routes which I will be making judgements of future routes on going into the future as both have really impressed me and set a good standard.
     
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  32. eldomtom2

    eldomtom2 Well-Known Member

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    It being finished.
     
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  33. Jay1986

    Jay1986 Well-Known Member

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    Cats!
    IMG_1298.jpeg
     
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